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What You Need to Know About Plastic Bottles (and Xenoestrogens)

Sep 24, 2016

Imagine this scenario for a moment.

You’ve been out shopping for the day and have noticed how thirsty you’re starting to feel, so you head to the nearest shop to buy yourself a drink. And when you arrive, endless rows of sugar-packed, chemical containing drinks like fizzy drinks and colas, fruit juices and energy drinks assault your senses and almost line every wall.

But they’re no problem for you because you care about your health. You consider yourself to be pretty clued up when it comes to the hidden dangers of these artificial drinks, and you try to stay informed about the latest health matters. So you opt for the healthiest option of them all: pure natural H20.

However, this ‘healthy’ choice might not be quite as virtuous as you think.

You see, whilst drinking good old water is indeed healthier than downing cans of diet fizzy drink or sugar-packed fruit juices, there’s actually something rather sinister hidden inside those innocent plastic water bottles, which might pose an even greater risk to your health than those other nasty fake beverages.

The truth is, it’s the plastic bottles themselves that are extremely harmful and could actually force you into an early menopause, worsen your existing health symptoms, cause you to pile on excess weight, damage your unborn child, and leave you vulnerable to all kinds of cancers. In this article, I hope to explain these dangers and provide you with a host of healthy alternatives. Let’s take a look.

Plastic water bottles are a danger to my health?

The plastic that our drinks bottles are made from is a problem. And quite a large problem too.

You see, they contain several chemicals which numerous studies across the globe have shown to be extremely harmful to our health. These included the most famous- bisphenol A (which has now been banned in Europe) and phthalates. These toxic chemicals leach from their packaging and into the water we drink, posing horrible side effects and cancers. Additionally, they also act as something called xenoestrogens.

Xenoestrogens act as artificial oestrogen within your body, fooling your endocrine system and disrupting the fine balance of your hormones. This means a worsening in those horrible menopausal symptoms, an increase in the severity of your PMT, additional symptoms of PCOS and also an increased risk of contracting cancer, especially the hormone-dependent ones like breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

But by no means is this where the dangers end. You see, if you are pregnant and exposed to BPAs or phthalates, your child’s brain development could be affected and your child could face an increased risk of hyperactivity, or suffering anxiety, depression or learning difficulties as a result.

These hazards are increased if you reuse a plastic water bottle, leave your bottle lying in the sunlight or expose it to high temperatures.

It’s Not Just BPA…

But you might already be aware of the dangers of plastics. You might have read the BPA warnings in the media and so decided to switch for a BPA-free reusable water bottle instead for yourself or your children. The trouble is, there’s new research to suggest that all plastics can leach into the food and drinks we are consuming, and pose many significant health risks of their own. It’s clear that we need to ditch the plastic and reclaim our health.

Plastic bottle pollution

From an ecological perspective- drinking water from plastic bottles and then throwing them away isn’t such a great idea either, even if you make the effort to recycle them. Plastic bottles and the plastic micro-beads added to cosmetics are the number one source of global pollution, and marine life is really taking a blow as a result.

So if you’re like me and care about your health, want the best for your family and also care about the planet that we live on, you’ll need to reassess your plastic habits, and find healthier alternative so we can live more healthily and happily for longer. Here are some of the simple ways you can get started:

Simple habit changes to avoid plastic

Thanks to a heightened global awareness of the dangers of plastics, it’s relatively easy to minimise all of the plastic in your life, including ditching those toxic water bottles.

Tip #1: Buy a reusable bottle (and carry it with you!)

You won’t need to even think about avoiding plastic bottles if you are already carrying your own bottle with you. Choose glass, stainless steel or even ceramic bottles, fill them with tap water or filtered water and sip away. Doing this also reminds you to drink more water in the first place, adding to the benefits.

Tip #2: Never ever reuse a plastic bottle

The older your plastic bottle is, the more likely it will release those harmful xenoestrogens into your drink, accumulating in your body’s tissues, causing those health problems and increasing your risk of cancer, obesity and even diabetes.

Tip #3: Never drink from a bottle that has been left lying in the sun

When your plastic water bottle is left out in the sunlight it doesn’t just make the water disgustingly lukewarm, but it also increases the chances of those awful chemicals getting into your drink.

Tip #4: Review the other plastics in your life

It’s not just plastic water bottles that can be harmful to your health, but cling film, Tupperware boxes, canned foods, Tetrapaks and even receipts. They all contain exactly the same chemicals which pose exactly the same risks. Instead consider stainless steel and bamboo lunch boxes (they’re far more attractive anyway), eat fresh or dried foods instead of canned and choose glass bottles or cans instead.

The sad truth is, we just don’t know the full extent of the damage that BPA, phthalates and other related plasticizing chemicals could be doing to our health and wellbeing, and it seems like revised plastic warning are being issued every single week these days.

Regardless of this, one thing is clear- avoiding plastic water bottles and other plastic products are the best thing you could do for your own health, that of your family, and the health of the planet as a whole.

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